*Pentru varianta în limba română, apasă AICI.
It is said that Paris is always a good idea and this was exactly our thought when we searched for airplane tickets for our short weekend getaway in Amsterdam and we found an option with a 24 hours layover in Paris. I have been here many times before, this city also being the first place I visited outside my home country, Romania, back in highschool, but it gave me the perfect opportunity to visit it with my boyfriend and turned out to be the greatest idea.
I am probably being sentimental, but I guess I will never get tired of visiting the city of love and I want to go back with my boyfriend and explore some more together.
I will also make a short guide to Paris from our 24 hours escape, but let me tell you more about the perfect place to stay in the city for a citybreak: well situated, affordable and with a killer view over Paris: citizenM Paris Gare de Lyon.
Hotel: citizenM Paris Gare de Lyon
Type: Affordable luxury
Prices: starting from 150 Eur/night
- THE CONCEPT
Before I tell you all about our Parisian experience at citizenM, I want to give you some details about this new hotel concept that goes really well with our preferences for a citybreak when we just need a room to sleep and spend so little time in it.
citizenM Paris Gare de Lyon is part of the hotel chain citizenM which aims to create something new on the market – „afordable luxury for the people”. You can already find them in many world class cities such an New York, London, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Glasgow and, of course, Paris, but they also promised to expand worldwide and we will soon be able to fiind them in Copenhagen and Taipei.
In Paris, you have three hotel options depending on your plans: Paris Gare de Lyon, which was our choice for exploring the city, Paris La Defense and Charles de Gaulle, close to the airport.
What I really loved about citizenM is the concept of „affordable luxury for the people” which means they address to smart travelers who want a boutique hotel for a budget price. They offer a small, but chic room perfectly crafted for the best sleep after a busy day: XL king-size beds, super fluffy pillows, custom made mattresses, Italian linen.
citizenM clients are smart travelers who would rather spend time at a local museum than hanging out in their room. If they do wanna read a book, spend some time on the internet or just grab a cocktail, citizenM welcomes them in the big and cozy living-room lounge that I will describe to you later on.
Sounds good so far, isn’t it?
- THE HOTEL AND LOCATION
As I said above, our choice for this long layover was citizenM Paris Gare de Lyon due to its location and view.
The four stars hotel has a total of 338 smart, luxury-filled rooms, a bar overlooking Paris called cloudM and stylish workspaces at societyM for business citizens.
We chose to stay at citizenM Paris Gare de Lyon, which is so conveniently located just 2 minutes from Gare de Lyon, as the name states, a great starting point for your Parisian adventure, but also an easy location to get to from the airport.
We landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport and let me tell you the best options to arrive to the hotel:
- A direct bus link called Le Bus Direct Ligne 4 which will leave you right in front of Gare de Lyon in approximately 40 minutes at 17 Eur/person;
- RER, a cheaper option than Le Bus Direct, which was not available when we arrived in Paris because of the strike happening there;
- UBER, which was our choice since the price was similar to Le Bus Direct for 2 persons and you have comfort, intimacy and speed, as a plus. We paid 43 Eur for this alternative.
I said above this location is the perfect starting point for visiting Paris. Let me tell you why: The metro station is just 3-4 minutes away by foot from the hotel and has good connections to all important tourist attractions. This was a good solution for us because we had little time at our disposal in our 24 hours layover in Paris.
- CHECKING IN
Uber left us right in front of citizenM Paris Gare de Lyon and up we went to the first floor where you can find the reception area. I loved the hotel from the first impression because it is cozy and feels like home which is the exact purpose of citizenM.
The not so typical reception is actually a big area with self check-in computers that allow you to choose your room in a matter of seconds. You will always find friendly and kind staff called ambassadors by citizenM ready to help you with anything you need.
Unlike traditional hotels, citizenM doesn’t believe in putting people into roles: concierge, check-in, food and beverage servers. Instead, they use this new concept of brand ambassadors that require their staff to be completely multi-skilled and capable of making you feel at home whether you need help with checking in, having a freshly brewed coffee or finding your way to the ironing room.
The same thing said above about the quick check-in is valid for check-out as well. It literally took me 30 seconds to scan the keycard and we were ready to go. This was perfect for our lack of time in Paris where we wanted to make the most of every moment.
- THE ROOM
Our room was situated at the 11th floor, room nr. 1104 to be more specific, a simple, cozy double room. The hotel itself makes you think about the era of technology we are living in and rooms are decorated accordingly: simple and futuristic.
First things first: let me start with the thing that stole my heart in a second – our killer view over Paris. We had the Seine, Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame and Montparnasse Tower in just one panoramic image. Could it get more Parisian than that?
The day view is breathtaking and you just want to get yourself a cup of tea or coffee and stay there enjoying the moment. As a plus, we had cute little citizenM mascot to accompany us.
But, let me just tell you that, at night, when we got back to the hotel, we had our very own Eiffel Tower lights show from the bed. This was definitely the best way to end that magical adventure.
Another strong point of the room is the XL king-size bed. citizenM advertise itself for having pillows fluffier than your puddle and, believe me, they don’t lie. We slept like babies and, even though we didn’t have much at our disposal, we woke up fresh and ready for a new exploration day.
Technology and simplicity are the main words that characterize citizenM and you will feel that best in the smart room they provide. In every room, you will find an iPad that helps you control everything with just one touch: color of lightning, intensity of light, temperature, music, TV, window curtains and even set your morning alarm clock. I loved the night option the most. It simply switches off everything with one click and makes the room even darker with window blinds.
- BREAKFAST TIME
You already know by now that I am such a breakfast fan and citizenM got us covered with a boost of morning energy.
I must admit I am not a Parisian breakfast kind of girl meaning I won’t be satisfied with a croissant and a cup of coffee. This is just dessert for me. I need real fuel in the morning and citizenM offers you both choices: flaky butter croissants and pain au chocolat, eggs and crispy bacon, delicious roasted potatoes, prosciutto and cheese, yogurt and cereals etc. I have only notice a lack of fresh vegetables, but they compensate with fresh fruit and juices.
At just 14.95 Eur/person if you book in advance (17.95 Eur if purchased on the day), from 6.30 am to 11 am, you get a complete tasty meal in a fancy location that will give you the perfect start of the day.
citizenM is all about speed and the era of technology. Instead of a small lobby, at citizenM Paris Gare de Lyon you will find a huge living room area with a large variety of books and magazines to read, the latest newspapers to keep up to date and, of course, a computer & internet area with iMacs waiting for you if you have some important business to attend or you simplu want to print your boarding pass for the next flight. You can even enjoy a relaxing time by the fireplace.
The internet is all about freedom, as citizenM says, that is why WiFi is free of charge and works in the entire hotel at maxim speed.
The restaurant & bar is situated at the first floor as well, where you also have breakfast, in a huge and colorful open space area where you can grab a cup of freshly brewed coffee or a fancy cocktail anytime.
At the last floor of citizenM Paris Gare de Lyon you can also find cloudM bar which is accessible for guest only and gives you the best panoramic view of Paris. We were sad we didn’t have the time to profit and relax at this beautiful top floor area which had the same view as our room.
This was our experience at citizenM Gare de Lyon in our quick Paris getaway and it was time to jump in our Uber and rush to the airport back home! Be sure to subscribe because there is a new 24 hours in Paris blog coming this week!
Blonde around the World ❤